LONDON — Unilever’s acquisition of Sara Lee’s body care and household business is being put under the microscope. The deal, which was announced in September, will be the focus of an in-depth investigation by the European Commission.

This story first appeared in the June 2, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“The merger creates significant overlaps in a number of products used by consumers on an everyday basis,” staated Joaquin Almunia, commission vice president and competition commissioner. “We need to make sure that if there are competition concerns these are duly addressed so that consumers are not harmed.”

The commission has until Oct. 5 to make a decision.

If approved, the acquisition deal, which weighs in at 1.28 billion euros, or $1.57 billion, would add Sanex, Radox and Brylcreem to Unilever’s lineup of personal care brands.

Separately, the Commission is also looking into Procter & Gamble’s proposed acquisition of Sara Lee’s air fresheners business.

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